Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Meatballs in Sauce with Creamy Polenta

Maybe this doesn't sound or look good to you, but the picture had me and I had to try it. It was sooo good. Granted, polenta is not the healthiest thing in the world for you, but when we paired it with meatballs (protein), marinara (veggie), and fresh green beans (veggie) on the side cooked in just a little bit of EVOO, it was delicious. The polenta just added a little bit of heavenly texture and you really don't need that much underneath the meatballs. This was a little more time consuming than I anticipated (what with smashing the tomatoes and all - I may just use another homemade marinara next time), so next time I will not do it in the middle of the week. Save it for Sunday.

I found it here.

Meatballs and Marinara Sauce

adapted from Pioneer Woman



  • 3/4 pounds Ground Beef
  • 3/4 pounds Ground Pork
  • 3/4 cups Fine Bread Crumbs
  • 2 whole Eggs
  • 3/4 cups Freshly Grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
  • 1/4 teaspoons Salt
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • Splash Of Milk
  • 1/2 cups Olive Oil


  • 1 whole Yellow Onion, peeled
  • 2 whole (28-ounce) Can Whole Tomatoes
  • 1/4 teaspoons Salt
  • 1 teaspoon Sugar
  • a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cups Flat-leaf Parsley, Minced
  • 8 whole Fresh Basil Leaves, Chiffonade (optional)


Start sauce. Put all the ingredients for the sauce except the fresh herbs (parsley and basil) in a Dutch oven or large pot. Cook for about 45 minutes (or longer…the longer, the better), mashing up the tomatoes with a potato masher or back of the spoon as they cook. Add chopped parsley after sauce has become less chunky and more saucy.

To make the meatballs, combine meat, garlic, breadcrumbs, Parmesan, eggs, salt, pepper, parsley, and a splash of milk in a mixing bowl. Mix together well with hands. Roll into 25 1 1/2-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet. Place cookie sheet into the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes to firm up.

To brown the meatballs, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add meatballs 8 at a time, turning to brown. Once browned on both sides, put in marinara sauce. Continue until all the meatballs are browned and in sauce. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring very gently a couple of times during the simmer.

Just before serving, stir in basil if using.

Serve over polenta (recipe below). Sprinkle with extra Parmesan.


by Tyler Florence

  • 2 cups water or chicken stock
  • 3/4 cups finely ground cornmeal or polenta
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1.5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • Pinch kosher salt

In a large saucepan bring the chicken stock to a slow simmer. Quickly whisk the cornmeal into the stock and lower the temperature to keep it from splattering. Stir in the cream, Parmesan, butter, and salt. Turn off the heat and keep in a warm place until the meatballs are ready.

(Servings: 6 for sauce and meatballs, 2-3 for polenta, Prep time: 45 min., Cook time: 75 min., Difficulty: Easy)

1 comment: